Saturday, June 28, 2008


We went to see Pixar's Wall-E last night. This is one time that the critics are absolutely right. Wall-E is an absolutely wonderful movie that is not only beautiful to look at, but left me trying not to get choked up at several points. It's just that good.

One of the things that amazes me about Pixar films is idea that their films cost over a million dollars a minute to make and yet they never allow that cost to limit the story. One of the more jaw-dropping scenes in Wall-E was a robot ballet in space that must of covered five minutes of screen time. You can just hear some Disney corporate executive upon seeing that seem complaining that it doesn't move quickly enough or advance the narrative.

Tough luck . It was one of the most beautiful things I've seen on screen. Ever. Kudos to the Pixar engineers and artists that choreographed and rendered that sequence.

Reviewers are bringing up the obvious cinematic influences on this movie from Star Wars to 2001: A Space Odyssey. For my part the film evoked comparisons to one of my favorite science fiction films; Silent Running. From it's strong pro-environmental message to it's smart, cute robots it has a lot in common to that earlier film.

While Wall-E's environmental message is timely it's the theme of the film; that we shouldn't lose our sense of connectedness to others or the world we live in, that will really resonate with audiences. Wall-E is the darnright sweetest film I've seen since E.T. How else would you describe a film in which the driving goal of it's hero is just to hold hands with another living creature?
At it's heart is a love for humanity that practically bleeds through the screen. Which is an odd thing for a film in which the protagonist is a robot.

If you have some time this weekend then brave the lines and see the remarkable Wall-E. It doesn't disappoint.

Friday, June 27, 2008

And one more thing, what you choose to call hell, he calls home.

Watching the news this week I found out that Americans love the Second Amendment but could care less for the Fourth.

The New York Times calls this "pragmatism."

I think the Founders might of had a different word for it.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trust me, Wilbur. People are very gullible. They'll believe anything they see in print.

Oregon (pronounced Ore-gun, btw) has a proud tradition of independent-minded politicians who won't allow party identification to sway their votes on the issues.

From Democratic Senator Wayne Morse who was only one of two votes against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution to Republican Governor Tom McCall who was instrumental in pushing Oregon's innovative land-use policies, public beach access and other environmental measures, this state's most revered politicians are those they strike out on their own and follow their own conscience.

So it's not surprising that Republican Senator Gordon Smith has decided to pose as an independent for his re-election. Even in a year in which the tide wasn't pushing so strongly towards Democrats, Gordo would still be trying to pretend he was some sort of maverick that regularly worked across the aisle rather than the Bush-toady that he is.

Smith took to heart the most important lesson of the Bush presidency that in this era of postmodern politics words speak louder than actions. Thus a fiercely partisan Senator like himself could portray himself as a moderate though he voted with his party and the President on practically every issue, supported every one of that president's nominations to the court and even for the impeachment of president Clinton. One's man's moderate is another man's political hack.

Smith's made national news for a couple of campaign ads he's run recently. In the first former Democratic congresswoman Elizabeth Furse claims Smith was "one of the first in congress to stand up to George Bush on the Iraq war." A claim belied by the fact that it took the Republican hammering in the 2006 election for Smith to "See the light" on Iraq. Up to that point he was a reliable pro-war vote in the Senate.

His most recent ad which just began airing is almost more audacious in a sense in that it implies that Smith, the campaign chair in Oregon for John McCain's campaign, is endorsed for his re-election by none other than Barack Obama. Here's the ad--

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (my favorite bow tie wearing pol at the moment) released this response to Smith's silliness--

Personally, I'm enjoying all of the national attention this is getting. Smith may have tried painting the pig that is his voting record one to many times. Oregon voters aren't buying it this time around. We can hear the oinking.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now they got the whole country sectioned off, you can't make a move without a form.

It hit me last night that the problem with our political leaders is that they haven't spent enough time watching and reading works of science fiction.

With regards to literature they should be reading the imagined worlds of Aldous Huxley, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Ray Bradbury, Robert A. Heinlein, Margaret Atwood, Neal Stephenson, H.G. Wells ("When the Sleeper Wakes",) Alan Moore and George Orwell. *

Then they should turn their attention to the depiction of future dystopian societies in film by watching Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, Ridley Scott's Bladerunner, Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium, Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men, Michael Anderson's Logan's Run, John Carpenter's Escape from New York, Jose Whedon's Serenity and even Mike Judge's Idiocracy just to get themselves started.

At that point our political leaders should have enough information to consider all these horrible imagined futures where the individual is supplicant to the corporation or the government, and then figure out a way to keep these dystopias from fucking happening.

I'm talking to you, you bunch of FISA bill supporting monkeys.

(*This list could be much, much longer but I'm specifically excluding author Ayn Rand from the list of authors because I believe her ultimate fear wasn't so much an oppressive state but a state employed in the service of equity under the control of common men. She wasn't as much concerned in the suppression of the individual as she was the suppression of "superior" individuals, herself included.)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

To make a living people do many things God doesn't do.

I'm just going to do post covering all the stuff that's been on my mind and "clear the decks" in in a sense.

WEASELS - We were never going to win on FISA. If you think about it it's been Democrats that have allowed this to come close to passage each time until the netroots screamed bloody murder. I don't have a shadow of a doubt that party leaders decided after the last go round to spike it until the presidential primaries were over in order to give whomever our nominee was cover. Disgusting.

ET TU, BARACK? - A professor of constitutional law that doesn't understand the constitutionality of ex post facto law. It feels so great to see him trying to hide behind the skirts of the Dodd amendment to pull retroactive immunity. The chances of that passing are about as good as me flapping my wings and flying. Filibuster or die Mr. Obama.

DEVIL'S BARGAIN - With FISA in mind we get to vote for the President that will appall us regularly in the tradition of George W. Bush or the President that will disappoint us regularly in the tradition of Bill Clinton. Yay democracy!

THIS LITTLE PIGGY - Swinebread has outed himself as a looming papa. I know Mr. and Mrs. Swinebread in real life and I can tell you that little boy (they know) is going to have GREAT parents. Can't wait to meet the little bugger.

PALACE COUP AT FABER - Overdroid took advantage of the fact I was on vacation to utilize his long forgotten administrative rights to throw a wild Tom Tommorrow party at my blog. Lucky for me the damage was minimized when Overdroid got a spur of the moment job teaching improv to trial lawyers at Pepperdine at an event hosted by the infamous Ken Starr. I am not making that up.

LIKE A PACK OF WILD DINGOS - Ever watched one of those nature programs where a pack of dogs take down a gazelle? That's sort of what Franiam does with James Dobson. She doesn't even leave enough meat on the bones for the jackals.

SEVEN DIRTY WORDS - I have little to add to all the great eulogies of George Carlin but I admired the guy for the simple fact that he lived by nobodies rules but his own. He didn't broker bullshit and he didn't suffer fools. He'll be missed greatly.

TOLD YOU SO - Don Imus is a racist. Anybody with half a brain that listened to his show could tell you that. People with half a brain don't listen to his show so there you are.

IS HE PLUGGED IN? - I'm surprised John McCain is offering a prize for car battery. If anything I see him hoping they develop a better battery for pacemakers.

GOOD NORTHWEST POL - Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio has reintroduced his windfall profits tax on the oil industry bill. Among other things his bill would allow oil companies to avoid the tax if they spent some of any windfall profit on researching alternative energy sources or increasing refining capacity. It would also ban the export of any oil obtained on U.S. soil. Naturally the oil companies are against his bill.

BAD NORTHWEST POL - Washington state congressman Brian Baird who I listened to in an interview this morning. Among other acts of wankery he completely ignored a caller's point on FISA that the domestic spying had begun before 9/11 and argued that the surge was a success. Vancouver dems do us a favor and get rid of that asshole.

WORSTEST NORTHWEST POL- Senator Gordon Smith is a lying asshole. Smith says he's "one of the first to stand up to George Bush and other Republicans to end this war." Yeah, four years after the fact when he grew a spine. Shame on you Elizabeth Furse for going along with this crap.

I DID NOT KNOW THAT - Liberality hates flooding and rap music. If you rap about flooding she'll probably punch you in the face.

HELTER SKELTER- Joe the Troll wonders if Charles Manson associate Susan Adkins deserves freedom because she has six months to live. Only if she carves a little peace sign into her forehead.

COOL! - If I use a list of links to link to a dr. zaius list of links will it collapse the universe? I hope so.

I told you I had a lot on my mind.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Continue with the operation; you may fire when ready.

>I got about fifty things I want to post about right now but very little time so instead I give you this cool link with which you can generate your own Star Wars intro.

I'm sure you guys can come up with something funny. Especially Dr. Zaius. Underpants Wars?

Here's one of mine...

UPDATE- In the time it took me to write this post, find a quote and a picture Lucasfilm sent a cease and desist and shut the website down.

They want to keep the crap content exclusive to themselves and the Bearded One himself.